For many of us thinking about or even discussing death is not something we choose to do. Your wellbeing can be compromised if you lose someone you love or know and is a very painful experience particularly if the death was sudden or that of a child or perhaps traumatic.
Caring for someone who is dying, dealing with your feelings of loss or approaching your own death are really difficult issues.
Questions about your death
Preparing for your death and answering some questions can be a great help to you and the people who are closest to you. It is not something to dwell on but if you make a will, decide on burial arrangements and importantly communicate what care you want, where will you spend your last days and who will make decisions if you are unable to.
By planning what will happen you can put your mind at rest and get on with living your life to the full.
Coping with loss
Sometimes it will feel like the grief will never stop and it can all be overwhelming. Grief is a natural process and what is important is that you feel free to express yourself to help you deal with your loss. When a person you look after dies, you may be not only losing a loved one, but as a carer you may be losing your sense of purpose when your caring role ends.
Free, confidential information and advice to help you as a carer is available from Carers Direct:
0808 802 0202
Cruse Bereavement Care is the leading bereavement charity in the UK,
0844 477 9400 www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk
You can also ask your GP and other health professionals for a list of counselling services for you or other members of your family.
The death of a pet can also be very difficult and your vet may be able to offer access to local support groups.
There is a belief that a hospice is where everyone goes to die. That is not true. The average stay in a hospice is twelve to fourteen days, after which many patients return home.
During their stay, patients receive treatment (known as palliative care) to help relieve pain and other symptoms causing discomfort. They will also receive a great deal of love, care and skilled attention from trained medical, nursing and support professionals.
Hospice patients can be any age, from the tiny baby to the very old. There are a number of hospices in the Merseyside area and the following are based in Liverpool:
Woodlands Hospice Liverpool
0151 529 2299 www.woodlandshospice.org
Marie Curie Hospice Liverpool
0151 801 1470 www.mariecurie.org.uk/liverpool
Zöe’s Place offers palliative respite and terminal care for children up to the age of 5 years with complex and life limiting illnesses.
0151 228 0353 www.zoesplaceliverpool.org